Kerry admits how he screwed up in the 2004 election. He refused to respond to the Swift Boat ads for way too long - and the damage was done. His fate was sealed.
As of 2pm ET Tuesday - a friend on his behalf has claimed that the target of his barb was George Bush.
The remark apparently followed a litany of Bush cracks. And the education remark - though poorly delivered - was another remark in THAT litany. And therefore was actually an apposite crack about Bush lacking smarts.
But the White House - and his good "friend" John McCain have wasted no time in exploiting the remark and amplifying it as though it was an intentional slur on America's troops.
Kerry's first response in this electronic age?
A WRITTEN statement! Suitably angry sure - but in PRINT! With a promise of a press conference to follow.
NO JOHN... NO JOHN... NO JOHN... NO!
That was 1973.
This is 2006.
The enemy intentionally takes a poorly-delivered joke of yours out of context to use as a NATIONAL weapon against all Democrats for the next 7 days as a way of saying that Democrats are callous about our troops - and you resort to parchment and quill?! And plan a televised news conference "later in the day."
Jesus H. Christ - what part of this INSTANT media age don't you understand yet?!
NOW. NOW. NOW.
This lie is already more than halfway round the world and truth has still not got its boots on.
I truly thought you had learned that lesson...
Democrats, liberals and progressives - take note.
UPDATE at 3.00pm ET
If you have footage of what immediately PRECEDED the remark in question - that shows that it truly WAS part of a litany of jibes about Bush - then get that footage out there! To TV news and YouTube.
That the words are usually:
"I can't overstress the importance of a great education. Do you know where you end up if you don't study, if you aren't smart, if you're intellectually lazy? You end up getting us stuck in a war in Iraq."
Great. There must be tape of you at other events delivering that line correctly. Supply that to TV news outlets IMMEDIATELY. Upload it to YouTube IMMEDIATELY.
If you have your original speech notes (that you are seen glancing down at immediately before you make the remark) and they include the missing words - get that out too.